Two Questions

 Mom at 94 – 2013

Every time I visited Mom, she would ask me two questions over and over and over…and over.

What do I think Seattle will be like in 50 (or 250 or 500) years?

Do I think that women will begin wearing skirts again instead of pants?

In the beginning, I wasn’t her best foil.  I quickly tired of question. I tended to be dismissive–saying I’m not sure and changing the subject.

Then I began taking it more seriously and it became a challenge to come up with different answers every time.

But I wasn’t taking her seriously.  This was obviously of real concern to her.  So finally I asked her what she thought.

“What do you think Seattle will be like in 50 years?”  I asked.

“Well, I won’t be here,” she laughs.

“I wonder what it will be like,” I persist

Now she’s interested.

“Well, I think women will be wearing skirts again. “

“I don’t think there will be any room – the streets will be full with people everywhere.”

“My grandmother would be so amazed.”

“Do you think we will still drive cars?”  I ask.

“There won’t be room.  Maybe we will all fly.”

“Things change.  That is just what happens – there is nothing you can do to stop it.”

She assumed that our visits would continue indefinitely.

 Maybe you can come tell me what it’s like.

What an opportunity I missed.  Now that I know about TimeSlips, Anne Bastings remarkable approach that focuses on the imagination not the memory, I think of the stories Mom would have spun—her wonderful imagination—looking back or forward or god know where—it would have been amazing to behold.

Now the issue of skirts was a little more challenging.

One of Mom’s recurring concerns is that women no longer wear skirts.

“My mother and grandmother would be shocked,” she says as she surveys the landscape on the lookout for anyone in a skirt.

So when my sister Jeanne was in town, we arrived at Mom’s door in skirts.  Mom felt a little silly in chintz but there we were—three generations—Mom, her sister Louise, me, my sisters Jeanne and Sara, niece Lindsay—skirts billowing.

After 30 minutes, Mom was relieved to change into “something normal.” But it was fun while it lasted. Plus I have a photo.